Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire

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It’s official: The Internet has decided that Pillars of Eternity II is a veritable masterpiece. Which is surprising, since the Internet usually hates everything. Yet Pillars II’s Metacritic score (as of May 9th) stands at a mind-blowing 89/100. Believe it or not, Pillars II is on track to become one of the highest-rated PC games of all time. But what you might not know is that Game On Studios—yes, little old us—had a hand in the creation of this slice of videogame perfection. What did Game On do exactly? We recorded walla sessions for the game.

If you’re not in the audio industry, and you’re not a lifelong subscriber of StereoLife magazine, you’re thinking, “A walla session? What the heck is that, man? Are you just making up words now?” No need to Google; Game On’s got your back: A walla session is a particular kind of recording session. The object of a walla session: to generate and capture the ambience of a crowd.

In short: walla sessions are the craft of effectively capturing the sound of large groups of people.

If you’re currently playing Pillars II, then you’ve definitely heard our wallas. Remember when you first arrived in Port Maje? Those are our wallas, man! (You’re welcome, Gaming World.)

So how did we record our walla sessions for Pillars II?

We rounded up eight seasoned actors. And we put all eight into our worldclass, state-of-the-art recording studio here in downtown Montreal. And then we cut off their food supply and switched off the Wifi. No Facebook for six straight hours! If our wallas sound mournful and spiteful in Pillars II, now you know why.

We’re kidding, of course.

For us, the key to creating effective wallas is to make the wallas sound as human and as authentic as possible. That’s what we did. We powered up our state-of-the-art equipment in our world-class performance space, and we let our talented actors do what they they do best.

Type of work: Audio
Scope of work: Walla recording, Voice direction
Publisher: Versus Evil
Developer: Obsidian Entertainment

If you’re making a game, and you could use some world-class wallas like this? Well, you know who to call